Republican State Rep. Neal Carter and Pinal County Supervisor Mike Goodman will host a town hall to address the recent increase in water-related to Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD) fees, which are affecting water utility customers in the Queen Creek-San Tan Valley-Florence area.
According to a press release, the town hall is set for Tuesday, May 17, staring at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the American Leadership Academy, Ironwood 7-12, located at 850 W. Combs Road in San Tan Valley.
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson, and representatives of CAGRD, Central Arizona Project and EPCOR also are expected to attend.
Members of the public with concerns or questions are encouraged to attend, as well.
Local area residents served by EPCOR as their water utility company have seen a dramatic increase in their bills, mostly as a result of a several-fold increase in the CAGRD fee.
CAGRD is a special function of the Central Arizona Project, the 336-mile canal network that brings Colorado River water to Central Arizona.
Authorized by the Legislature in 1993, CAGRD assesses fees for groundwater pumping which water utilities are authorized to pass on to customers.
“Local residents are seeing dramatic increases in their monthly water bills and are calling to demand explanations,” Carter stated in the release. “My goal with this town hall is to get state regulators, the water utility, and the customers together so that the public’s concerns can be brought forward, and we can either rectify the current billing increase or avoid dramatic water bill changes in the future, or both.”
Carter represents District 8, which includes areas of Pinal and Gila counties.
Goodman stated in the release that he knows from experience that “in situations like this it’s best to have all interested parties in the same room.”
“It’s difficult for residents to get answers when multiple agencies are involved, and with this forum we aim to solve that problem,” Goodman stated. “Our community members deserve transparency and resolution.”
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